La Jolla Sports Shorts: Water polo, youth baseball and tennis updates

Zach Fales (left) of The Bishop's School shoots during Bishop's 10-5 water polo victory over La Jolla High School on May 28.
Zach Fales (left) of The Bishop’s School shoots while Kiefer Black of La Jolla High School attempts to block it during Bishop’s 10-5 water polo victory May 28.
(Nicola Bugelli)

Bishop’s boys and girls water polo teams go undefeated

The Bishop’s School boys and girls water polo teams went undefeated this season and are seeded No. 1 going into the CIF San Diego Section playoffs, which start Wednesday, June 9.

Both teams completed season sweeps of crosstown rival La Jolla High School on May 28, with the boys posting a 10-5 victory and the girls winning 16-7.

Before the season, Knights coach Doug Peabody told the La Jolla Light that the Bishop’s boys, who in 2019 won their first CIF title in nine years, were looking forward to being back in the water after the COVID-19 pandemic layoff and were “working super hard in their position work and conditioning to make sure we are prepared for big games in our league.”

The girls, two-time defending CIF champions who have made a habit of appearing in the title match, “bring a lot of team camaraderie and unity,” Peabody said in the Light interview. “I think they bring a giant respect for the game. They train in a way that puts them in a position to be successful.”

Peabody did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the past season or the upcoming playoffs.

Shetland baseball team wins Ramona Invitational

La Jolla Youth Baseball’s Shetland (6 and younger) team took home the W at the Ramona Baseball Invitational Tournament over the Memorial Day weekend.

Led by coach Rob Robinson, the boys defeated teams from across San Diego and Orange counties.

The La Jolla Youth Baseball Shetland team
The La Jolla Youth Baseball Shetland team, including head coach Rob Robinson and assistant coaches Michael Gotfredson, Matt McNutt and Jeff Pinto, includes players Robbie Robinson, Blake Schaffran, Colton Burton, Ben Blumenthal, Ryder Martin, Parker Gotfredson, Luke Newman, James Braverman, Reeve McNutt and Zachary Pinto.
(Courtesy of Rob Robinson)

“It was an incredible achievement for this team,” said assistant coach Michael Gotfredson.

Robinson said Shetland defeated teams from Mira Mesa (11-6) and Carlsbad (19-11) and rallied from being down 8-3 to defeat Escondido 14-10 in the semifinals. In the championship game, he said, the youngsters again faced a five-run deficit, 10-5, before storming back to defeat Dana Point 20-10.

La Jolla High tennis duo wins Western League mixed doubles

Two La Jolla High School tennis players thrived in the new coed format used this season. Carson Kellogg and Tatum Buffington won the Western League mixed doubles tournament and qualified for the CIF quarterfinals this month.

“This is a first for San Diego high school tennis,” said coach Darice Carnaje. “There has never been a mixed team. And these two are very, very good together.”

La Jolla High School tennis players Tatum Buffington and Carson Kellogg won the Western League mixed doubles tournament.
(Courtesy of Brett Buffington)

Between the two, she said, they can volley, transition from the baseline to the net — “which most kids are not good at” — and can handle whatever type of serve is hit to them.

“Tatum is very good at difference paces; she can hit a good ground stroke or at the net” and is good at volleying, Carnaje said. “Carson is a really smart tennis player in every way. He’s capable of hitting a lot of shots; he can serve and volley, which most kids don’t do. The two make a formidable team.”

Tennis was coed in San Diego-area high schools this year as an adaptation that allowed teams to play during the pandemic.

— Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon